Nominations open for the European Social Economy Awards

The previous edition of the awards included honours for Spanish renewable co-op Som Energia and Turkish platform co-op Needs Map

Social Economy Europe (SEE) has opened applications for the second edition of the European Social Economy Awards. 

The awards, held every other year, aim to raise the profile of the social economy and inspire others to become entrepreneurs, activists and change-makers. SEE says that this year it wants to “recognise the efforts and contributions of social economy enterprises and organisations for the digital and green transitions”.

A panel of social economy experts, researchers, and representatives of EU institutions will judge three finalists for each of the following categories:

  • social Innovation, for organisations working on innovative inclusion projects or social services
  • skills, for those providing skills and training to social economy actors
  • green transition, for initiatives offering sustainable solutions to issues including housing, food and energy, and
  • digitalisation, for organisations focusing on tech and digital transition. 

SEE president Juan Antonio Pedreño said the social economy was in “historical momentum” and has achieved a lot, but warned that it faces challenges that must taken seriously.

“We cannot do it alone,” he added. “We have always believed that teamwork is the key to face the future. We have the strength and the capabilities to face those challenges, and that’s why one of our goals is to increase our workforce up from 6.3% to 10% in 2030. The world needs us: let’s build a stronger system than before, let’s build the foundations of a green, digital and inclusive Europe.”

Organisations selected as finalists will be invited to send one representative to the awards gala on November 14 in San Sebastian in Spain. 

Two co-ops took home prizes at the first awards in 2021 – Spanish renewable energy co-op Som Energia in the green transition category and Turkish platform co-op Needs Map for social innovation.

Social economy enterprises and organisations including co-operatives, mutuals, and micro-credit institutions, are eligible for the awards. As well the 27 EU member states, organisations in the western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, EFTA countries, the UK, Turkey, and southern Mediterranean countries are also able to apply.

The deadline for applications, which can be made here, is 31 August.